Can You Afford to Misbehave like Harry?

Chances are, nude photos of Prince Harry taken during a recent late-night party in Las Vegas and published in print and online won’t mar his career opportunities. Yes, he may get a dressing down from his grandmother and a reprimand from the British army, but sooprince harry1 125x150 Can You Afford to Misbehave like Harry?n the whole episode will be relegated to “Harry being Harry.”

But if photos of you misbehaving are posted to Facebook or any other social media site, you better be prepared for not landing that plum job – or any others.

In increasing numbers, employers are Googling prospective employees before hiring them. What will they learn about you?

According to an April 2011 study by OnlineEducation.net, and reported by foxbusiness.com, 96 percent of college students have personal Facebook accounts. What they post could come back to haunt them, says Dan Schawbel, managing partner of Millennial Branding and author of “Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future.”

“Things that you post will always remain there and that becomes more of your legacy and how people think of you — you are what you publish. People see what you publish and it stays there,” he says. “Something you publish now might not have a huge impact, but maybe it prevents you from getting a job next year or five years down the road.”

What to do? Experts recommend using Facebook for interacting with professors and students, sharing interesting and relevant article links (such as this blog!) and posting a link to your professional blog.

What shouldn’t you do? BBB always advises against giving away too much personal information, such as that you’re leaving on vacation (an invitation to would-be burglars) as well as birthdays, phone numbers, addresses and any other information that could be used by identity thieves.

Have you lost out on a plum job because of social media posts?

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About Luanne Kadlub

Luanne Kadlub, communications editor for BBB Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming, has been a writer/editor for newspapers, magazines and nonprofits for more than 30 years.